The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden held the 64th Independence Day celebration at the Embassy premises on Saturday, 04th February.
The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by the Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ followed by the recital of the National Anthem. The Traditional Oil Lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and the Sri Lankan community leaders.
Two minutes silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka. The religious observances of Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian were conducted by the most Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero, the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and the Nayaka Thero of Scandinavian countries; Chief Priest of Sweden Ganesha Temple B Mohanranjan Sharma; Immam Yusuf Mulim and Father Michael Bjerkhagen, Priest of the Royal Swedish Court respectively.
Venerable Watapana Pannarathana Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Tapovana Temple and Burma Shobana Thero of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara also joined the Buddhist religious observances.
The National Day Messages of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were read by the Ambassador, Mr. S.B. Wijekoon, Minster Counsellor and Mr. Geshan Dissanayake, Third Secretary (Commercial) of the Embassy. The Tamil translation of the Messages were read by Mrs. Prabha Shanmugabalan, a Sri Lankan living in Stockholm.
Welcoming the gathering, Ambassador Alahapperuma stated that Sri Lanka is heading towards a new era of development under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that responsibility lies on all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity, to protect and keep united Mother Sri Lanka.
Ambassador requested the Sri Lankan expatriate community living in Sweden and in other accredited countries to extend their support, not as groups divided into different ethnicities, but as one nation, to achieve the goal of making Sri Lanka a “New Country”.